Many cancer treatments involve lymph node radiation, surgery or removal. This can permanently damage your lymphatic system, slowing or blocking the flow of lymph. The result is chronic swelling, or lymphedema. Swelling can appear weeks, months or even years later.
In the midst of cancer treatment and recovery, lymphedema is an added burden and frustration. Lymphedema tends to have a gradual onset, with swelling that progresses over time. Symptoms can fluctuate and even disappear at times. Early assessment and treatment brings relief.
About 20% of breast cancer survivors experience swelling in their arm, hand or chest wall.
Leg and abdominal swelling results from testicular, prostate, ovarian and other cancers in these regions.
Cancer in the white blood cells of the lymphatic system commonly creates swelling in the neck, chest and underarms, but can affect any part of your body.